In this week’s Torah portion, we learn about the Sabbatical year, where no crops were planted and the land laid fallow. The only product that could be eaten is what was saved from before and the minimum yield that may grow on its own. For one year, the wealthy and the poor alike would have the same food to eat, teaching the fortunate what life was like for the less fortunate.
A couple of years ago, Mazon: A Jewish Response to Hunger, encouraged people to take the SNAP Challenge and eat only utilizing the amount of money provided for a week to the most needy. That amounted to $31.50 for food and beverages for a week or $4.50 per day.
While there aren’t food stamps in Canada, most of us don’t have to think that carefully before picking out our foods. We are more concerned with an item’s sourcing than its cost. But this week’s Torah portion is a reminder of the benefit of needing to pay attention to the cost of our food with greater regularity. It will make us appreciate what we have even more and also attune us to the ways we can support those who are hungry on a daily basis.